Delay of Extradition Suit: Court Imposes N100,000 Cost on Kashamu

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Buruji Kashamu

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos Thursday awarded a cost of N100, 000 against Senator Buruji Kashamu for unduly delaying hearing on his application filed against the Department of State Security Services (DSS) and the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to stop his extradition to United State of America (USA) to face alleged drug-related charges.

Kashamu had in his suit marked FHC/L/CS/930/2018, joined as respondents: the Inspector-General of Police (IG); Commissioner of Police, Lagos Police Command; Director General of DSS; NDLEA, and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF)

He is urging the court to restrain the respondents and their agents from arresting or detaining him in any manner whatsoever, or interfering with his right to personal liberty and freedom of movement.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke had taken arguments in the suit from respective parties and had reserved his judgment until April 29.

But due to the Easter vacation, judgment could not be delivered in the suit on April 29.

The matter was consequently, adjourned until May 10.

However, on May 10, the case was further adjourned till yesterday, for hearing.

At the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, the trio of O. Fajela, J.N Sunday and I. O. Ichakpa, counsel to the DSS and NDLEA, respectively, informed the court of the absence of the applicant and his counsel, which they said had occurred on third and fourth occasions.

When asked by the presiding judge, Justice Chukwujekwu Joseph Aneke, if they were aware of the letter sent to the court by Kashamu’s counsel asking for adjournment of the suit for being before an Appeal Court, the respondents’ counsel expressed dissatisfaction at the frequent adjournment, on the grounds that the case had been adjourned severally at the instance of plaintiff.

They added that it was the case of the plaintiff and they ought to exhibit diligence.

Consequently, DSS counsel urged the court to award a cost of N100, 000 in its favour against the plaintiff.

In the same vein, lawyers to NDLEA also asked for a cost of N200, 000 against Kashamu.

In a short ruling Justice Aneke awarded a cost of N50,000 each in favour of DSS and NDLEA, respectively.

The court then adjourned the case until October 31 for hearing.

In a supporting affidavit, the applicant averred that by a newspaper publication, the AGF was reported to have said that the US Government had been told to make fresh request for his extradition, after the former proceedings were dismissed.

He averred that, in a proceeding instituted in England by the US authorities between 2002 and 2003, it was established that he was not the one implicated in the alleged narcotics offence committed in the US in 1994.

He said that consequently, he was not the person sought after by the US authorities.

Kashamu urged the court to restrain the respondents and their agents from arresting or detaining him, in any manner whatsoever, or interfering with his right to personal liberty and freedom of movement